Marriage on the Rocks

Leni Oath Taking 30June2016 001Don’t get me wrong. I love my country. I will go down with the ship. But tonight as I write this, I am like a child of a couple who are not in speaking terms, and I am sad.

The inaugural speeches of President Rody Duterte and Vice President Leni Robredo were quite predictable. They said what we wanted to hear. But VP Leni, God bless her and her children, finally recognized the elephant in the room towards the end of the day. Something was wrong. This is not a normal thing. She said so in her speech to her supporters and admirers at the Quezon Memorial victory party at nighttime, when formalities were over and it was time to talk to family.

“You are my family,” she said, “and I ask you not to leave me. The fight has just started.”

A couple who are not in speaking terms. What a stressful situation to the child in me, to the child in everyone, I suppose. I hang on to every word of my leader. I like governance, thinking that only by good governance, only by way of a good leader, can we really make the country work. But how can the country work when the husband is in love with someone else, the dutiful wife exudes confidence in the marriage, saying she will do her best to make it work, and yet the husband has someone else in mind.

That someone else is no other than Bongbong Marcos. Make no mistake about it. Marcos Jr. won the elections.

“Can his case prosper?” I asked Christian Monsod, who served as Comelec chairman in 1991, after VP Leni’s oath-taking in the Quezon City Reception House.

“No, it won’t,” Monsod answered.

“But he will be in the public eye for the next four years on account of the case filed for allegations of electoral fraud,” he added.

“He likes that,” I said. “Fourteen million can take him to Malacañang in 2022.”

“Yes,” Monsod said.

“And he can fuel the anger of his supporters, thereby endangering the vice president?” I asked.

“That, too,” Monsod said.

So it’s Marcos who has the upper hand, and I’m sadder still.

Ever the dutiful and loving “wife” to the husband whose heart beats for another, VP Leni admonished his supporters at the victory party.

Leni Oath Taking 30June2016 151“Let us always be forgiving, knowing that good will always win in the end,” she said. “And in this fight for good, fight with me, fight alongside me.”

“Don’t leave me,” she said, and I could almost hear my heart break into pieces. “Pray for me. We are partners, I am strong only because we are together in this. Always be humble, do not quarrel with our enemies, remember that the world is round. So be good always.”

But ever the gracious woman, Leni reminded everyone in the victory party, smiling all the time, that she is used to hardship. “But we should always set aside our personal interest.”

“And at the end of the six-year term, I hope I will still see the same faces. I recognize so many of you already, you have followed me and supported me in campaign. We are family. You are welcome to my office.”

Note, reader, that this speech happened in a celebratory mood, and the vice president retained her charm and composure, but she knows the situation she is in, and she called for support from her troops. To which the audience howled in agreement.

“President Leni!” someone yelled.

Yes, President Leni. That must be in President Duterte’s mind, and he cannot rest easy, given his friendship with Senator Marcos Jr. After all, he promised to turn over the presidency to the son of the late dictator if he doesn’t solve the drug problem in three to six months. Parenthetically, where’s Allan Peter Cayetano?

Still, the child in me hopes that the “couple” will make their marriage work, for the good of the country. Like the child in the Emperor’s New Clothes, I am saying in all innocence, in the truth that only a child can see:

“But why are they apart?”

263 Responses to “Marriage on the Rocks”
  1. Edgar Lores says:

    Gadzooks! Philippine politics as a love triangle.

    And intimations of homosexuality? (Not that I disapprove.)

    What can we next expect?

    • Anita Rainey says:

      It’s not homosexuality — it’s MONEY, MONEY, MONEY — the root of all evils.

      • Edgar Lores says:

        You’re right, Anita.

        I believe it’s a triumvirate: Money, Sex and Power. It is said money is power and power is the ultimate aphrodisiac.

      • FRANCIS CO says:

        money is not the root of all evil…. it is the love of money that is the root of all evil….

  2. Max von Lange says:

    Yes sad and and not fruitful. But it’s neither their faults. It’s an outsider named LP Machinery who did the cheating and the President knows that in his heart and mind. That’s the root of it all.

    • Wilfredo G. Villanueva says:

      Come off it, Max. LP machinery? Cheating? Cheating to make Mar Roxas number two? Find another stone to throw, but not this one.

      • edgar lores says:

        It seems that the social media shock troops for the 2022 battle are vetting this site.

        Did someone say social media is not a factor in election campaigns?

        • issa1201 says:

          I keep wondering how a massive cheating by a party was done using the VCM happened? That what the other party keeps harping about.

          If we talk about buying votes before the election day, then we’ll have a field day! I doubt if any of the parties will admit to this! 😁

          • Edgar Lores says:

            We can stop wondering now… because VCM cheating never happened. Will is right.

      • Lyda Jara Canson says:

        Seems the name rings a bell.Is this Wilfredo Villanueva from Lucena City?If you are I am Lyda Jara,who also went to the same secondary school where you graduated.

    • Rae_E says:

      Cheating?I have not seen any viable evidence to agree w/ you. BBM’s lawyer – Ex-Comelec Chair Brilliantes himself said that it’s impossible to cheat in the UNOFFICIAL transparency count & said in exasperation “Ang daming tanga sa Pilipinas!” Then, Marcos lawyers’ scrutinized each COC during the OFFICIAL count in congress & have not seen irregularities except for the “undervotes” w/c is a non-issue. His latest complaints will be dismissed acdg. to Macalintal & echoed by Ex-Comelec Chair Monsod in the article.

      Besides except for BBM – Cayetano, Escudero, Honasan & Trillanes conceded to Leni. Why can’t you guys accept the fact that 26 million conscientious voters did not vote for BBM because they can’t fathom having another Marcos go back to Malacanang?

      As for Leni, she won fair & square because she was the most hard-working & smartest campaigner. She’s done the most campaign visits even to hostile territories like Ilocos Norte & her team poured the bulk of their funds on TV/media to boost awareness level. She’s also got the most passionate grassroots volunteers to help w/ her campaign. I doubt BBM supporters will sacrifice walking for days from Mindanao to Luzon to campaign for him like what the Sumilao farmers did for Leni. Please do not underestimate the power of the decent Filipino electorate & stop giving credence to the malicious lies coming from BBM’s camp.

    • ced says:

      You’re right about it, sir Max…actually, it’s not just the President who knew about the LP cheating but majority of the Filipinos who unfortunately are mostly underprivileged who dont have the means to air their sentiments & grievances… i have witnessed and heard how an establishment’s guards being shouted at by a guest comprising the oligarchs just because they were wearing Duterte- Marcos ballers/ wristbands, a taxi driver who shared a story re a wealthy looking passenger who threw invective words at him after he replied Duterte- Marcos to the man’s question on who he would vote for last election & so many more…BBM’s protest is valid coz that night before the smartmatic magic, Comelec chairman Bautista was asked the question when can it be said that a candidate was winning, he answered when 75 percent of the votes are already in to which he followed already 75 percent of votes were already in that time.. BBM then was almost a million ahead of Leni .. I even told my brother before I went to bed by tom nadaya na si BBM, Leni na will be ahead of him and I was right…and not yet winning, i remembered Leni already calling for the Filipinis to support her… Tsk tsk doesnt befit the good image she’s trying to project…

  3. angel bernabe says:

    Pduts is used to philandering. This character having bbm in mind knowing cayetano is his vp partner shows him as troubled leader and will always reflect throughout his term from the shortest 3-6 mos to maximum 6 years…A leader to be known more hateful, so bad attitude to begin with…

  4. madlanglupa says:

    Sir, I am terribly, terribly, terribly disgusted by the glee displayed by BBM while sitting besides Pimentel, as though he and Madame finally was able to walk the august halls after three decades. It was as if he was virtually the Vice President.

  5. Leo Rey Almero says:

    “That someone else is no other than Bongbong Marcos. Make no mistake about it. Marcos Jr. won the elections.”

    Marcos won the elections?

    • Wilfredo G. Villanueva says:

      Only in a manner of speaking, Leo Rey. He won because he’ll be in the limelight on account of his allegations, probably till 2022. Name recall is it.

      • Leo Rey Almero says:

        I was thinking that too. Just wanted clarification. And yes. While BBM lost the election he still won Duterte’s support. His political career will not fade away because the president is there to keep him in the limelight. We must be very vigilant now that the Marcoses have an ally in Malacañang. And here’s hoping the PCGG will not be disbanded by President Duterte.

        • how about this? ever wondered why duts dilly=dallyed before finally running for president?
          somebody had to bankroll his candidacy. sino ang meron sapat na o sobra ang puhunan who was willing and able to spend his money? what were the stakes? a shot a malacanang would be a good one not now but later? the unknown variable was leni robredo. the spoiler. or was there a double-cross? if there was whoever was responsible shouldn’t be too visible or he should make himself scarce…

  6. Rae_E says:

    As always, eloquent & heartfelt. Thank you. I fully share your sentiments. Though, Duterte has been our Mayor in Davao for 2 decades (though I’m gone for half of that now), I never realized he’s a loyalist considering his mother was anti-Marcos activist. It’s deeply troubling & appalling esp. what he’s done to Leni.

  7. Bill in Oz says:

    I guess given the family oriented nature of Philippines society, it’s natural to think of the split between Du30 & Leni, as disturbing…

    But the election of Duterte reflects new political , economic & social processes .. The old man from Mindanao has gained power on promises of change, big change.

    And Leni for him represents the old regime, former defeated government.. She is in fact the ‘loyal opposition’. But not loyal to Duterte. Rather loyal to the Philippines and the Filipino people. This is her role for the next 6 years. She is not part of the government. She is the leader of the alternative government.
    Thus it is really great that Leni is a caring, compassionate person. Clearly her religious faith is important to her but in the next 6 years she needs also to find support among the secular groups of Filipino society..

    And ‘Bongles’ ? Well he is out of the senate. And for a year, forbidden from being part of the new government for a year.. What a frustrating and embaressing stupid position to be in. He is angry. He will be looking for opportunities to undermine and white ant the Vice president, and so ensure his own victory in 2022..

    but Bongles is Du30’s good mate And in a year will be in government somewhere. Thus in 2022 he will be clearly identified with Du30’s failings. I wonder what they will be ?

    Meanwhile the Leader of the Loyal Opposition will do a great job.

    • edgar lores says:

      1. I do not find the split disturbing in the sense that the elected president belongs to a different party than the elected vice-president.

      1.1. I find the split disturbing because of the disrespect shown by the elected president to the vice-president. The disrespect is NOT in the absence of an offer to the vice-president for a job, either in the cabinet or elsewhere. The absence of an offer is Duterte’s prerogative.

      1.2. The disrespect lies in (a) not meeting with the vice-president before the inaugurals; (b) having separate inaugurals; and (c) giving the reason of his closeness to the losing vice-presidential candidate for (a) and (b).

      1.3. The split is not really a split because it is not mutual; it is one-sided on the part of Duterte. Robredo has said the president has her support.

      2. In a presidential system where the president and the vice-president belong to the same party, the role of the latter is largely ceremonial. To attend state funerals and otherwise represent the president in foreign or domestic gatherings. And, possibly, to advise the president.

      2.1. In our presidential system, the president and vice-president may belong to different parties, and such has often been the case.

      2.1.1. The tradition has been for the president to offer a job to the vice-president either in the cabinet or in a special role.

      2.1.2. It is NOT the role of the vice-president to act as the Loyal Opposition. Traditionally, the roles have been reserved for leaders of the minority parties in both chambers of Congress. Given 1.3, Robredo should not attempt to act as Loyal Opposition.

      2.2. The vice-presidency is often used as a stepping stone to the presidency.

      2.2.1. Robredo has carved out her own agenda. Bully for her.

      2.2.2. Bongbong is history.

      2.2.3. Duterte continues to be suspect.

      • Bill in Oz says:

        Edgar, I agree with everything you say except
        ” It is NOT the role of the vice-president to act as the Loyal Opposition. Traditionally, that role has been reserved for leaders of the minority parties in both chambers of Congress.”

        In Congress Duterte has super majorities. The opposition are a ‘remnant rump’ And that is not a comment on their abilities or political loyalties. just an observation of the facts with omnipresent turncoatism.

        Duterte has no need of Leni’s support even if she still wishes to give it. He has rejected her….So Opposition Leader” is her role.

        Now that might be a tad unusual for Filipinos.. But we live in interesting times.. Change is happening here as Duterte says

        • Joe America says:

          VP Robredo appears, from her statements, not to see herself as opposition, but a part of a unified government. She is a team player, where the team is the Philippines. She views she can help best by supporting President Duterte, not opposing him.

          • edgar lores says:

            Thanks, JoeAm. Bill seems to have missed my 1.3 item.

          • Joe America says:

            Here, this underscores the point:

            • Andres III says:

              I wonder what did Duterte told to Leni that she giggled like that. Maybe complementing how pretty she is? 😀

          • Marie says:

            Yes, VP Leni is the ideal team player who does her best for those she serves, who understands the need to support higher authority. But she has principles and ideals that she will adhere to.

            I personally think it is of no loss to her that she is not given due respect by the party in power, it gives her more room to show excellence and receive recognition for it, no thanks or credit to be given to the current administration, which prefers not to offend friends but finds it acceptable to offend the citizens of the Philippines who support her. (A “gaffe” considering the inaugural speech made in Malacañang regarding serving the people rather than friends).

            She has taken the higher ground all this time and continues to do so. She has been judged, maligned, yet responds by asking supporters to pray for her, to stay by her side. I believe this increases the level of respect being given to her and sets the standard for civility. At this point the best statesman is actually a woman.

        • Andres III says:

          The thoughts of “Opposition Leader” is like a fairy tale, you are wishing so much that it will come true.

          • Joe America says:

            Not if VP Robredo chooses not to abide by the expectations of others, either in government or outside. Since the election, she has done nothing but voice support for the incoming administration. That respect, however, seems not to be returned. That is having the effect of making a real opposition of the people who believe VP Robredo is a fine, intelligent woman of great integrity.

    • Tulume says:

      A friend from the DILG told me that Digong is reserving their department for Bongbong after the one-year ban expires. It’s now being warmed for him by Sec. Sueno whose staff’s first query when visiting the office for the first time was “Is there a nap room?” or “Where is the nap room?”, something to that effect. It was a surprise to the DILG personnel who knew about it because in their experience of incoming secretaries the first question is usually “Where is the war room?” I said to my friend that they have to be considerate with the new secretary considering that he is 71 years old. If the rumor is true that BBM will eventually become the DILG chief, it will be practical for Digong to appoint someone like Sueno.

      • Alexander M Guevarra says:

        So, that figures…that’s why I really doubt his sincerity…he couldn’t justify his pronouncements that he wants to unify the Filipinos…What??? by giving the Marcoses such big favors…

      • Rank says:

        Just being true to his name. Sueño is Spanish for dream. So he needs a nap room.

        • Marie says:

          That’s what I thought of immediately, too, recalling my Spanish elective requirements back in college. How appropriate. Then the dream could become a nightmare if and when he is replaced. How tragic.

    • Andres III says:

      The vice president is just a spare tire, she has no actual purpose until the main tire became unusable. She could not even oppose, its outside of her power. She has nothing to lead, maybe the remaining defeated hopefuls who are still hoping.

      • Joe America says:

        A spare tire can sometimes mean the difference between getting there and not getting there. The Vice President does have a budget and the power to do good deeds on behalf of the Philippines. The VP can welcome the disenfranchised into the nation’s conscience, for instance, by simply recognizing them and their struggles. The poor, for instance. That appears to be Vice President Robredo’s chosen role, and it ought not be diminished, lest one think you are in the business of playing politics and dividing the nation rather than pursuing the best interest of the nation.

        • Andres III says:

          Yes, she has a budget, like 0.001% of to total budget. She can do things you have mentioned and that would be good, but the power to oppose is just parallel to her budget, which is 0.001%.

          • Joe America says:

            You mistake dollars for power, and you seek to diminish and divide in so doing.

            • Bill in Oz says:

              Leni also has the moral authority & prestige of Vice President …It is an office & position with influence within the Philippines and abroad…After all Bongles wanted the job and is pssed off he did not get it !

      • Joe America says:

        A spare tire can sometimes mean the difference between getting there and not getting there. The Vice President does have a budget and the power to do good deeds on behalf of the Philippines. The VP can welcome the disenfranchised into the nation’s conscience, for instance, by simply recognizing them and their struggles. The poor, for instance. That appears to be Vice President Robredo’s chosen role, and it ought not be diminished, lest one think you are in the business of playing politics and dividing the nation rather than supporting the Vice President and the Philippines.

      • Nas Escobar says:

        It is a disservice to the country to treat Vice President Robredo as a spare tire. Her job is to be prepared to take over in the event the president is not able to carry out his duties. As such, the VP has the right to be briefed on what is happening specially in the area of national security and foreign affairs. Otherwise why do we need a vice president for? What a waste of valuable resource.

        • Bill in Oz says:

          Dutter’s strategy has been to undermine Leni as VP from before she was even in the job…He is thinking long term and does not want her to gain favorable public support over the next 6 years..His mate Bongled is being lined up as successor..

          But because of the character of Leni Rebredo Dutters strategy has back fired.

  8. karlgarcia says:

    I think VP Leni would make a better DFA sec than Perfecto Yasay,if you base it from that initial cabinet meeting.Is he the new Abaya?
    At least Jun Abaya never opened his mouth that much,but when he does it would sometimes be fatal.

    • Bill in Oz says:

      Dutters has done Leni a favor Karl..

      Instead of negating her by bringing her into his government , he has excluded her..And so given her the unique position of official opposition leader…

      By the way, this is normal in most democracies

      • karlgarcia says:

        Yes,that is one way of looking at it.Thanks.

      • edgar lores says:


        I am in two minds about a Loyal Opposition.

        My misgivings stem from what Tony Abbott once said: “The purpose of the Opposition is to oppose.”

        I do not think this is completely right. Mindless opposition is counter-productive, and total opposition results in deadlock. The latter is where the US Congress and Obama were.

        To a degree, the Opposition must oppose. To a greater degree, the Opposition must refine. This is to say that the job of the Opposition must be to propose amendments and improvements to bills introduced by the current government, who presumably have a mandate from the people. The role should not be one of total rejection.

  9. Bing Garcia says:

    Like I said before, between Raissa Robles and Fidel Ramos, I will take anytime Fidel Ramos.

    • My comment sharing this: “The impression that I get about Congress and the judiciary is that of a self-blockading system where things don’t get done fast enough – if this is the democracy and rule of law Filipinos see no wonder so many are tired of it.”

      • Bill in Oz says:

        The impression that I get about Congress and the judiciary is that they are a self-blockading system where things don’t get done !!

        So Leni being the l(de facto) leader of the (loyal) opposition makes even more sense

        • I so often wondered why things were so personalized in the Philippines – what I have realized is that institutions don’t work and principles need to be embodied by someone, the words expressing them have been abused so often that only deeds are believed.

          • Joe America says:

            “Clang” goes the resonant bell in my head. I was serious that I don’t trust a word that President Duterte says. So I am totally Filipino now. I want deeds.

  10. Sup says:

    No Leni in camp Crame during change command but i am almost sure to see Imee in the venue on my TV screen …………….red dress again…..

  11. Sup says:

    @ JoeAm… Next week i am also in Malacanang…Duterte did invite me and even told me to bring my blanket and pillow so i could stay there ……But he did not invite only me but ALL Filipino’s… 🙂
    Will be crowded there…. 🙂

    • Joe America says:

      I wonder if President Duterte has an appreciation of the history of Malacanang. It’s a museum, used mainly for greeting heads of state, cabinet meetings and significant events/ speeches. Offices are in adjacent buildings.

    • Chivas says:

      Wry smile that maybe some threw out their room discount cards to play find the banana games then plans to take a selfie after bacchanalia. Good deed goes on a two-way street. This gig requires responsibility.

  12. Gia says:

    Someone mentioned Conrado de Quiros….from the time candidates filed to run for govt posts to losers filing protests and winners being proclaimed, I had thought and wished Mr de Quiros were still around to write about the ensuing events up to yesterday’s inauguration. It was sure to echo my thoughts and sentiments on the elections and the quality of majority of those who ran and won, which went from the revolting and horrifying to the disbelief that this real and not a bad dream and actually happening. I wonder which of the Shakespeare characters he would have likened each of the major player

  13. Leni is a strong woman. She has done a lot in terms of social programs and civic groups.

    if you want to have her as President, do her one favor please. Do not make her Cory II.

    Paawa and moralism mixed don’t work anymore. Don’t show weakness, it is a jungle out there.

    I would rather report on her projects and her accomplishments in the coming years.

    Ignore Bongbong. Sorry Will but this is the first article from JoeAm I am NOT sharing on Facebook.

    The Q&A with K I shared, but changed from the ostentatious “L” to the Osaka couple picture.

    Something you haven’t realized yet – the old yellow is discredited. It has 6 years to reinvent itself.

    Prove it can help those at the “laylayan ng lipunan”, in giving poor people lives with dignity.

    • Wilfredo G. Villanueva says:

      Hi Irineo! Would any other color have done better? Red (right) would continue to steal from the poor. Red (left) would continue to discombobulate the poor. White (Poe and others) would continue to pretend to be good to the poor. Yellow carried Ma’am Leni, by the way. Tattered and besmirched, yellow will continue to fly. Yellow would have won, if Binay and Poe did not divide the votes of those who would have gone yellow, or at least anti-Marcos, and by inference anti-Duterte. As Sylvester Stallone told his mom after the Rocky sequels bombed, “But Mom, I landed on the moon with Rocky I!”

      • Leni’s yellow – empowering the people and helping the poor – is a different yellow from that of those perceived to be elitists who are insensitive to the rest of the country.

        Leni’s yellow is not Cory’s yellow which abolished Family Planning because of Cardinal Sin. Leni knows how to talk to the common people, which Cory (not her fault), her son, Mar Roxas and others did not manage to. Leni’s yellow knows what it is to ride a bus, not have a chauffeur do the work for you. Leni’s yellow has been in the fields in tsinelas with the farmers of Sumilao in Mindanao. Why do you think so many moderate reds voted for Leni? Even Duterte supporters? Her version of yellow is adapted to today’s conditions.

        • Wilfredo G. Villanueva says:

          “Perceived to be elitists.” Be careful about toeing the line of those opposite yellows. Lies. I am a Geiger counter for apathy, entitlement, wang-wang. Given that I am outspoken, I have yet to rail against elitism among the ranks where I choose to belong. Do you think I am an elitist, Irineo? There’s your answer.

          • Nope. But as an outside observer who has FB friends who are strongly for the opposite side, I am wondering why you are apparently living in very different countries, no worlds.

            You were one of those who covered Leni, while most hardcore Roxas supporters did not really give her much coverage – that I give a lot of credit. She only came into the race when very popular Grace Poe did not accept the offer of running with Mar Roxas.

            As for pro-Roxas people, I have one pro-Roxas FB friend who has actively called for the resignation of Honrado many times. Ignoring the bad eggs in your own ranks helped the other side in creating bad blood. Merkel knew when to call in even her closest friends and ask them to resign for the sake of the greater cause, and relocate them to where they caused less harm in the public view. I have used the word “perceived”, because there are those who fall for the lies, for whatever reason. Politics has become a lot harsher today.

            As someone who fell, yes fell for the populist Schröder in 1998 – our crowd was the “paasenso” crowd similar to the Dutertistas of today, hating the established because we were not included – I have seen how the Christian Democrats regrouped and adjusted. This may sound a bit amoral or realistic, depending on how you choose to judge things. But it helped Merkel win against Schröder by a narrow margin in 2005.

            As for 1986 – there are those who were there among my generation who are angry for some reason, who said they helped oust Marcos in order to let another self-satisfied power clique come and rule the people. It looks like they are perceiving wrongly, but how do you convince Filipinos who are already angry and have closed their minds already? You who are around Leni have your work cut out for you in the coming six years.

  14. Wilfredo G. Villanueva says:

    My reply to a Facebook friend who said that former President Aquino must ditch the yellow ribbon pin, that President Duterte is the better leader because the pin on his shirt is the Philippine flag:

    We were one in kicking out the dictator using peaceful means, prayers and supplications in front of tanks and battle-tested marines. We were the world’s darling of democracy, how 40 million cowards managed to restore democracy by expelling one s.o.b. with the least blood, by united action.

    Marcos loyalists at that time were nowhere to be found. If they had massed with the same numbers, then maybe People Power was wrong. But no. At some point in our history, we were finally one people. This is the significance of the yellow ribbon.

    Don’t blame the symbol, blame the people like Jojo Binay and his ilk who abused the people’s trust, thereby leaving a bad taste in the mouth. But don’t blame the Aquinos or their followers who sincerely wanted a change of heart. Disabuse yourselves of any notion that “change” is a modern concept. No. We’ve been harping on “change from within” since the day after the Marcoses and their minions fled the country. Matigas lang ang puso at ulo ng mga Pilipino.

    Ngayon, since they have given up on changing themselves from the inside out, they have given the new admin carte blanche to “fix the country.” How I wish it were that easy. President Duterte himself admits that he cannot do it alone, that we must put our shoulders to the wheel as well.

    And the yellow ribbon, is it a bad thing? Is it a bad thing to remind people of the glory we reaped when once we were loving, when once we were human, flesh and bones against armed might? What can you say about a country that does that? Why the best country in the world! (One American child even told his mother that when he grew up, he wanted to be a Filipino.) So those of you who question the yellow ribbon: check your moral and civil compasses.

    Ako, I’m thankful for Ninoy Aquino for coming home. I know of one person who transformed himself for the better because of Ninoy’s singular heroic act. That person shed tears of deliverance, committing himself to the constant and unrelenting fight to sustain our democracy. If you can say what you want without ending up tortured and dead, then you get the essence of democracy. We own our country, and we must be good stewards to make it grow, not just going with the flow, but speaking out with care and respect towards everyone. With true democracy, with power in the hands of the people, everyone knows kindness and compassion. Insults and shallow criticism have no place in a democracy. Get off your high horse already and savor democracy. The new dispensation may just be having second thoughts about it.

    Oh, the person who changed? That’s me, Will Villanueva. I know whereof I speak.

    • Joe America says:

      I had thought the yellow ribbon signified the straight path, which was supposed to be non-denominational, politically speaking. But opponents did not take it that way, and I think it was to some extent divisive. I don’t think people were on a high horse. I think they thought President Aquino was on one. So who is insulting whom is in the eyes of the beholder.

      • He was trying to continue what his mother started. The yellow ribbon was a symbol that started in the days after Ninoy died, when people sang the “yellow ribbon” song as part of the movement of those days.

        But the symbolism was not properly communicated to all, or simply outdated – or who wears the same kind of aviator glasses and has the same hairdos as in 1986?

        • Joe America says:

          Ah, thanks for the historical briefing. I agree it is outdated. Gadzooks, I was just winding down from hippy in 1986, quite an accomplishment for a banker.

    • Max von Lange says:

      We are a prayerful Nation. And God answers prayers for the nation and the poorest amongst us – to be uplifted. But some of those who prayed are now disappointed because their candidate did not win or was not the “anointed” one to be President. Time to drop those baggages and give full support to the new Prez. I’m not a dut fan, but this guy is now the big man in Malacañan. It’s take that or leave it. Time will soon tell us if he is a Saul or a David. He has many “goliaths” to battle, So sit back and chill. The stock market is pretty much agreeing. The prospect painted is bright too. Don’t be spoilsports guys. By the way, I’m new with dishing out my 2 cents here (I’m in my late 20s) but I have been a silent admirer of the discourses here. Really great minds. Very interesting. Thank you joeam.

  15. Mike says:

    Tanong ko ko lang sino sa tingin nyo ang politiko ang pinakamakapal ang mukha na dumalo sa malacanyang? Ang sa akin ang mag ama na Estrada pangalawa ang mga marcos. Pahabol lang nakita ko si Anabelle Rama sa labas hindi pinapasok dahil walang imbitasyon mas makapal pala ang mukha nya gusto mag gate crash

    • Marie says:

      Habang pinapakinggan ko ang talumpati ng presidente na nagumpisa sa kanyang pagtalakay sa korupsyon sa Pilipinas, ako din, di ko maiwasang mag-isip, ano kaya ang nadarama ng mga bisita na may mga kaso ukol dito? Na lantad sa taong bayan? Di kaya sila natatamaan at namilipit sa kanilang kinauupuan? O malakas ang loob dahil may magpo-protekta sa kanila sa kasalukuyang administrasyon?

      (As I was listening to the president’s speech which started with his discussion on corruption in the Philippines, I, too, could not help but wonder about the guests with ongoing corruption cases that everybody knows about: Are they feeling guilty and are squirming in their seats? Or are they feeling confident because they now have a protector in the current administration?)

      … A strange cast of characters that day in Malacañang.

  16. Will, I am sharing this now – but with the comment: “in all adversity, Leni remains strong”.

    Ayoko na magmukha siyang kawawa. Walang awa at walang pasubali ang Pilipinas ngayon.

    Soldiers stopped their tanks for praying nuns in 1986 – do you really think they would today?

    Marcos backed down and left. Duterte would go the Tiananmen way if another EDSA was tried.

    You are in a tougher fight today. The psy-war aspect of this should not be forgotten either.

  17. Bill in Oz says:

    Off Topic.. An excellent article from an Australian in Denmark about Brexit….There are goodsolid examples of what is/was wrong….And there is even a reference to ASEAN Gian

  18. homelessK says:

    What a metaphor! Why is she not in the inauguration? I believe that the new Presidents staff were not the organizer of the event yesterday? Why did she had a separate party whilst almost all the proclaimed new officials are in Malacañang? So who is divorcing/separating who? Who organised and planned the Inauguration and did not include the new VP?

  19. If you guys notice, most of DU30’s cabinet are pushing 80s. Once these guys are done in 6 yrs, they’ll have no where to go but racing to old age. Same with DU30, it’s a geriatrics clinic, they’ll do this, and wait to die after their term.

    Since VP Robredo will basically be on campaign mode for the next 6 yrs, maybe this is the reason for the distance? Basically, there’s no room for the young and ambitious, the old folks have a vision/mission and can’t afford to get side-track with campaign stuff. (could this be the reason? 😉 )

    Does Bong-Bong Marcos have a cabinet position?

    • Joe America says:

      You’ve taken to reminding me a lot of the Duterte and Marcos trolls, making up reasons then selling them as the new alternative reality. If the President is interested in unity, the election winner and rising star of the “opposition” (VP Robredo; who has repeatedly voiced her support for President Duterte) is the first person he should meet with. Choosing to meet with Bong Bong Marcos, and inviting him to his inaugural ceremony, while shunning VP Robredo, is another gaffe. Where gaffe is defined here as having one’s deeds depart from one’s words.

      • Andres III says:

        In reality, VP Leni has nothing to offer or, the most appropriate way to say it, Duterte does not need her.

        • Joe America says:

          You are trolling now, rather than working for the best interest of the Philippines. You have earned a suspension from the blog discussions for 30 days.

        • Bill in Oz says:

          Andres, what Dutters ‘needs’ is utterly irrelevant. What’s important is what the Filipino people need; and in choosing her for VP, the people have said we need you Mrs Robredo.

          And now Joe put you in the ‘sin bin’ for 30 days so you have time to think about that

          • edgar lores says:

            Bill, good answer. I was going to say the country needs her, but I did not want to feed a troll.

      • “You’ve taken to reminding me a lot of the Duterte and Marcos trolls, making up reasons then selling them as the new alternative reality. “

        That one was a question, Joe.

        And DU30’s cabinet is the geriatrics squad, many IMHO will die of old age while in office.

        If it’s such a big issue, why not opt to have President/VP as 1 ticket, instead of splitting them up like so. Remember Bush Sr. as VP under Reagan, they couldn’t even visit the WH under Nancy’s orders, and they were on the same ticket, same party, etc. Riddle me that.

        These things happen, I suppose, but most importantly the VP position is largely symbolic. What was the Binay/PNoy relationship like?

  20. Bert says:

    My next Philippine president, next to President Duterte, is Leni Robredo. She will be president of all colors. The yellow color is divisive. It excludes all other colors. The yellow color represents the Aquino family and the Aquino family is not the Philippines. Anyone wearing yellow who is not an Aquino is just a copycat. My rant.

  21. Joe America says:

    Off topic, but I have to share this tweet:

  22. Sup says:

    So, in the PNP it is not how you do your job but for who you did it?

    In an unprecedented move, Dela Rosa sacked over 30 police officials, including senior officers identified with losing presidential candidate Manuel “Mar” Roxas II, an adopted member of the Philippine Military Academy “Maharlika” Class of 1984.

    • Andres III says:

      What he did was within his power. Nothing wrong about that. 😀

      • Sup says:

        Better read some civil service books instead of typing in this blog…

        Or read some Supreme Court…

        The Civil Service Commission (CSC) assails in this petition for review on certiorari,[1] the February 20, 2008 Decision[2] and the June 11, 2008 resolution of the Court of Appeals (CA) in CA-G.R. SP No. 85508. The CA reversed the July 20, 2004 Decision of the Civil Service Commission Regional Office No. IV (CSCRO-IV) and ordered the reinstatement of respondent Gregorio Magnaye, Jr. (Magnaye) with payment of backwages and other monetary benefits.

        THE FACTS

        In March 2001, Mayor Roman H. Rosales of Lemery, Batangas, appointed Magnaye as Utility Worker I at the Office of Economic Enterprise [Operation of Market] (OEE). After a few days, Mayor Rosales detailed him to the Municipal Planning and Development Office.

        In the May elections of that year, Mayor Rosales was defeated by Raul L. Bendaa, who assumed office on June 30, 2001. Thereafter, Magnaye was returned to his original assignment at the OEE. On July 11, 2001, Bendaa also placed him on detail at the Municipal Planning and Development Office to assist in the implementation of a Survey on the Integrated Rural Accessibility Planning Project.

        On August 13, 2001, the new mayor served him a notice of termination from employment effective the following day for unsatisfactory conduct and want of capacity.

        Magnaye questioned his termination before the CSC head office on the ground that Mayor Bendaa was not in a position to effectively evaluate his performance because it was made less than one and one-half months after his (Mayor Bendaas) assumption to office. He added that his termination was without basis and was politically motivated.

        The CSC head office dismissed, without prejudice, Magnayes complaint because he failed to attach a certificate of non-forum shopping. Thereafter, Magnaye filed a complaint with the regional office of the Civil Service (CSCRO-IV).

        The CSCRO-IV dismissed Magnayes complaint for lack of merit. It upheld his dismissal from the service on the ground that Mayor Bendaas own assessment, together with the evaluation made by his supervisors, constituted sufficient and reasonable grounds for his termination.

        Magnaye sought recourse through a petition for review with the Court of Appeals, citing CSCRO-IVs alleged errors of fact and of law, non-observance of due process, and grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction. Adopting the stance of the Office of the Solicitor General, the CA ruled in Magnayes favor, mainly on the ground that he was denied due process since he was not informed of what constituted the alleged unsatisfactory conduct and want of capacity that led to his termination. It summarized the positions of the OSG as follows:

        • Sup says:

          Those officers have regular long term jobs and are not ”casual” workers..

          Maybe you are confused by this?

          At-will employment is a term used in U.S. labor law for contractual relationships in which an employee can be dismissed by an employer for any reason (that is, without having to establish “just cause” for termination), and without warning.[1] When an employee is acknowledged as being hired “at will”, courts deny the employee any claim for loss resulting from the dismissal. The rule is justified by its proponents on the basis that an employee may be similarly entitled to leave his or her job without reason or warning.[2] In contrast, the practice is seen as unjust by those who view the employment relationship as characterized by inequality of bargaining power.[3]

        • Andres III says:

          Well, lets see if they will go to court for illegal dismissal, or maybe someone will legally complain in their behalf. Sounds like they will win based on your facts.

    • karlgarcia says:

      For whatever purpose this may serve.

      Section 24. Attrition System. – There shall be established a system of attrition within the uniformed members of the PNP within one (1) year from the effectivity of this Act to be submitted by the PNP to the Commission for approval. Such attrition system shall include but is not limited to the provisions of the following sections.

      Section 25. Attrition by Attainment of Maximum Tenure in Position. – The maximum tenure of PNP members holding key positions is hereby prescribed as follows:

      Chief four (4) years
      Deputy Chief four (4) years
      Director of the Staff Services four (4) years
      Regional Directors six (6) years
      Provincial/City Directors nine (9) years
      Other positions higher than Provincial Director shall have the maximum tenure of six (6) years. Unless earlier separated, retired or promoted to a higher position in accordance with the PNP Staffing Pattern, police officers holding the above-mentioned positions shall be compulsorily retired at the maximum tenure in position herein prescribed, or at age fifty-six (56), whichever is earlier: Provided, That in times of war or other national emergency declared by Congress, the President may extend the PNP Chief’s tour of duty: Provided, further, That PNP members who have already reached their maximum tenure upon the effectivity of this Act may be allowed one (1) year more of tenure in their positions before the maximum tenure provided in this Section shall be applied to them, unless they shall have already reached the compulsory retirement age of fifty-six (56), in which case the compulsory retirement age shall prevail.

      Except for the Chief, PNP, no PNP member who has less than one (1) year of service before reaching the compulsory retirement age shall be promoted to a higher rank or appointed to any other position.

      Section 26. Attrition by Relief. – A PNP uniformed personnel who has been relieved for just cause and has not been given an assignment within two (2) years after such relief shall be retired or separated.

      Section 27. Attrition by Demotion in Position or Rank. – Any PNP personnel, civilian or uniformed, who is relieved and assigned to a position lower than what is established for his or her grade in the PNP staffing pattern and who shall not be assigned to a position commensurate to his or her grade within eighteen (18) months after such demotion in position shall be retired or separated.

      Section 28. Attrition by Non-promotion. – Any PNP personnel who has not been promoted for a continuous period of ten (10) years shall be retired or separated.

      Section 29. Attrition by Other Means. – A PNP member or officer with at least five (5) years of accumulated active service shall be separated based on any of the following factors:

      a) inefficiency based on poor performance during the last two (2) successive annual rating periods;

      b) inefficiency based on poor performance for three (3) cumulative annual rating periods;

      c) physical and/or mental incapacity to perform police functions and duties; or

      d) failure to pass the required entrance examinations twice and/or finish the required career courses except for justifiable reasons.

      Section 30. Retirement or Separation Under the Preceding Sections. – Any personnel who is dismissed from the PNP pursuant to Sections 25, 26, 27, 28 and 29 hereof shall be retired if he or she has rendered at least twenty (20) years of service and separated if he or she has rendered less than twenty (20) years of service unless the personnel is disqualified by law to receive such benefits.

      • Joe America says:

        So these retired people all get pensions? Attrition by (1) tenure, (2) relief for cause, (3) demotion, (4) non-promotion, and (5) other means: poor performance, incapacity, failure to pass exams/courses.

        • karlgarcia says:

          I am looking at the case of Napenas and Purisima and they fall under disqualified by
          law to receive such benefits.
          Other than that 1 to 5 receive pensions if they are considered retired (at least 20 years)

          Those relieved are senior chief super intendents to directors.
          even if they are on floating status until retirement age,they are entitled to their pension.

      • Edgar Lores says:

        Karl, thanks. This was what I was looking for. I believe the revamp is largely in order. I think the insinuation of politicization — that is “including senior officers identified with losing presidential candidate Manuel “Mar” Roxas II” — is tabloid journalism.

        • Joe America says:

          Why do you believe the revamp is a positive thing?

          • Edgar Lores says:

            1. From my view, there are three issues here:

            1.1. Legality of the sacking
            1.2. Politicization of professional government services
            1.3. Purpose of the sacking

            2. My use of the term “in order” refers to the first issue. The revamp was legal. The officers were not being sacked without just cause.

            3. Consequently, my conclusion is that there was no politicization. There is the phrase that the tenures of the officers are “coterminous with the appointing power.” The news item insinuated there was politicization by saying that the officers were “associated with Roxas.” The insinuation is that they were sacked because of the association. They should have simply stated the “tenures were coterminous” with Roxas.

            4. The purpose of the sacking should be seen in the light of Duterte’s law and order platform. As I said the police force is central to that platform. From the viewpoint of the new administration, the revamp is “positive.” It clears the way for effective, if not efficient, implementation.

            4.1. Do I view the platform as positive? I am on record in saying that the means — extrajudicial killings — are not. I am also on record in my doubts as to the efficacy of the means. The stated ends are beneficial… for the good of society… but they do not justify the means.

        • karlgarcia says:

          Those affected by te revamp are above 30 years of service,some retirable within a few months,it just happened to involve some from pma class 84 the class who adopted Mar Roxas.
          I have no problem with the revamp.

      • They should prioritize training, ie. actually knowing the law, tactics and leadership … if the new pay is mainly to inoculate cops from corruption, a better inoculation is good leaders and solid teams… re teams, I noticed the PNP was fractured, too many different units, so there should be patrol, and all other units should dip into that pool and cycle people thru specialized units, then back to patrol so in essence the solidifying force is patrol.

        • So instead of pay raise for everyone, maybe use that money first for training and re-organization optimizing leaders and unit cohesion. Morale IMHO is more important than salary hikes, people have been driven and worked hard w/out pay just to get their organization over… pay hikes can wait, though it should be dangled out there, and increase should be incremental. I’m no accounting guy, but lump sum pay increase just doesn’t sound practical, ie. ” I’m here now, pay increase for everyone! ” 😉

          • Waray-waray says:

            That has been done under the DILG-Roxas’ “Operation Lambat Sibat”. Though we are seeing results, it would take time and years to really take root. Problem is people wanted quick fix “now” na attitude.

            No less than the new PNP chief has said that “Operation Lambat Sibat” has been effective and they are going to continue with it (maybe rename it to suit the present dispensations ego).

    • karlgarcia says:

      This is more than meets the eye than I first thought.
      After that announcement of the alleged 5 pnp drug dealers and their ties to Roxas,I am retracting what said that there is nothing to this.

      But I still stand by my statements that a major revamp is a normal practice.

  23. Bert says:

    “The thoughts of “Opposition Leader” is like a fairy tale, you are wishing so much that it will come true.”—Andres III

    Ows, Andres, is that right? Like you’re wishing Bongbong Marcos succeed Duterte and that it will come true? Fairy tale indeed, :).

    • Bill in Oz says:

      Interesting..I spent some time trying to find out how to say “Opposition Leader” in Tagalog..And it does not exist…

      Which I guess indicates that this is a cultural thing : the concept has never been needed before.

      Well the Philippines needs it now…So maybe “Lider Pagsalungat”will serve until a Tagalog expert comes up with something better

      • Bert says:

        Bill, I don’t think the term ‘opposition’ in Philippine politics is cultural in nature. In my opinion, the term ‘opposition’ refers to a groupings of politicians belonging to political parties not affiliated/allied to the administration party. I think you know that but I just want to say something, :).

        If you’re looking for a direct translation in Tagalog of the term ‘opposition leader’ I don’t think you can find it anywhere. But that’s just me.

        • Bill in Oz says:

          All true Bert..My use of the word “Cultural’ was in it’s widest sense which embraces politics…I suspect that the very concept of somebody standing up and as matter of course and duty, ‘opposing’ the ruler, is Tagalog society…And so turncoatism is normal.

          And yes in a traditional society the idea ofa ‘loyal opposition leader’ is inconceivable. (..Or in a communist one for that matter ).

          But in normal democracies it is expected and the norm..Poor old Obama has had a very hard time of it from the Republican party opposition for the past 8 years..

      • sonny says:

        I would use: opposition leader = lider ng kabilang panig, Bill.

  24. Neri Rabusic says:

    i’m sensing something better will come out of this, just be patient.. GOD loves us don’t ever doubt it…

    • Wilfredo G. Villanueva says:

      No such doubts where I am, Neri. Thanks for affirming Godly presence and intervention.

  25. andrewlim8 says:

    Joe and all members of the Society, here are the most definitive sources of information to repel all forms of trolls and one-liner meme morons:

    Achievements of the Aquino administration:

    Philippine almanac:

    Official Gazette of the Philippines:

    Presidential Museum and Library:

    Courtesy of Manolo Quezon III

    Keep in mind the classic challenge to a troll:

    Can you cite your source?- a credible and reputable author, book, paper, institution, university, publication, thesis, academic, newspaper, book, etc.

    For us, these are among the sources. They do not have any. Keep it handy!

  26. Francis says:

    There is something poignant about the dichotomy between the VP and President. Perhaps–youth is making overly naive and optimistic, but do I spy a potential cleavage (or the seeds of such) in our pearl of a polis that may serve as the basis for a mature political party system?

    On one hand: the Lady VP–backed by lovers of the free market, PPP and prudent fiscal policy (neoliberals as some Leftists may grumble) on the Right and the erstwhile activists of civil society on the Left, mellow socialists and social democrats with politics ranging from Third Way to Bernie. BUB, CCT and the SSS and Magna Carta for the Poor Veto (on grounds of lack of capacity and money) come to mind.

    To quote Leni, “We seek to unite the government and the private sector in a partnership for change, for those at the fringes of society that we have vowed to serve.” The solution rests with the mutual initiative of citizen and state; the institutionalization of such being the legacy of the former EDSA activists who went on to take on the not-so-glamorous task of governance and retaining passion for democracy where there is no longer a clear “dictator bogeyman” to point at.

    On the other hand: the Strongman President–backed by ex-military (that is, Ramos) men, “Strong Republic” GMA folk and New Society Marcos fanboys on the Right and Nationalizing-Loving Maoist “Democracy is only an Instrument to Seize Power” National Democrats on the Left. The War on Drugs, Diokno’s intent to put the foot on gas in terms of spending and the possibility of intense agrarian reform come to mind.

    To quote Digong, “Erosion of faith and trust in government – that is the real problem that confronts us.” The man also quoted FDR and Lincoln–two American presidents who brought executive power to its highest limits in the pursuit of radical social justice. Government is the biggest problem. And it is the most powerful solution.

    With federalism in the mix (Hear ye, the cry of the Scot–I mean, Mindanoan)–political discourse has sure become mighty interesting. At least it isn’t just a competition of only “Who can be more independent of Uncle Sam!” and “Who can promise more free manna*!” anymore…

    *It is always the job of politicians to provide manna. But it is a sign of political maturity in a democracy for them to explain how.

  27. Raul F. Borjal says:

    Will, BBM’s 14 million will not elect him president in 2022. Leni’s 14 million is greater than BBM’s 14 million. And remember that there were, what?, 26 million other voters who didn’t vote for either of the two and these voters will be up for grabs in 2022. BBM might be in the limelight for his electoral protest, but Leni will be more so as Vice President working for the poor and the marginalized.

    • Wilfredo G. Villanueva says:

      Hi Raul! I know a Raul Borjal in my Ateneo de Naga days. Are you one and the same? Thanks for the analysis. It’ll come in handy at the watch tower, scanning the horizon for threats.

  28. “President Leni!” someone yelled.

    Yes, President Leni. That must be in President Duterte’s mind, and he cannot rest easy, given his friendship with Senator Marcos Jr. After all, he promised to turn over the presidency to the son of the late dictator if he doesn’t solve the drug problem in three to six months. Parenthetically, where’s Allan Peter Cayetano?


    Sorry forgot to thank you for another home-run article! Was busy at the other article 😉

    But my question is what’s the succession of power over there? I’m pretty sure it’s the same as here no?

    So why would Bong-Bong Marcos and Cayetano be mentioned, if DU30 steps down?

    I agree barring anything that implicates Leni, she’ll be next up in 6 yrs. So it is actually good that there is distance between her and DU30, no? That way she can focus on her own stuff… over here it’s VP Biden’s Moonshot Initiative (since his son died of brain cancer).

    But after Leni’s presidency, Bam’s the only guy in the picture (and that picture isn’t very appealing), can you write an article urging Bam to hang out with Badjaos in the seas and Aetas in the mountains (do that kilig factor that you do so well 😉 )? Introduce him to Bear Grylls and King Abdullah II of Jordan.

    • Wilfredo G. Villanueva says:

      Thanks, Lance! I’ll have to get back to you on the points you raised. My brain gets to jog when I’m engaged in the Society. Have to look up Bear Grylls. Hahaha!

  29. The Smiling Pilgrim says:

    I know so little of the Philippines and the political system there it is hard for me to make any kind of educated reply.

    What I do know is that overwhelmingly the people I have met from the Philippines are some of the most wonderful people around 🙂

    They have strong loving families and in a second are willing to help you out with food, friendship, and support.

    Not to mention they are just a fun bunch to work with and always have a good disposition even in the toughest of times.

    So I really hope that the political system there doesn’t affect or negate a culture that produces some of the most amazing people! 🙂


    • Wilfredo G. Villanueva says:

      I can only speak for myself, Smiling Pilgrim. I am doing this in defense of the values that I teach my family, to live by them in the real world, to show my children that no matter how you shake the very foundation of our culture, it will stand strong because people care about our country. Thank you for your compliments about our people. You are welcome here.

  30. jojo pensica says:

    Marriage on the rocks? Really?
    PNoy’s relationship with his vice president was even worse, yet many are claiming that he did pretty well as a president. Binay was even lambasting PNoy openly and calling him incompetent many times.

    it’s day 1 of the president and vice president’s tenure and we now conclude that their relationship is on the rocks. that’s very smart.

    • Joe America says:

      Pack of distortions, I fear. The relationship between President Aquino and Vice President Binay was absolutely constructive for five years, until such time that politics forced a split. President Aquino gave the VP two agencies to head and invited him to sit on the cabinet. This ended when VP Binay, needing some props for his campaign, did what all opposition politicians do, started criticizing the government he served and was responsible for, as a cabinet member. The distinction with President Duterte is that he appears to be establishing the political split from the getgo, refusing to meet or give a cabinet seat or agency to the Vice President.

      By the way, I absolutely detest it when people come cruising into my blog and recasting reality as if they were the great guru in the sky, the font of all wisdom and insight. This is a discussion forum, a society of people who are interested in teaching and learning and the well-being of the Philippines. It is not a place for peddlers to sell their pigs ears as if they were purses.

      • Edgar Lores says:

        If only… if only people commenting here would keep in mind that the main purposes of discussion are to share viewpoints with logical reasoning and illuminate aspects of the topic at hand… and not to mindlessly push their advocacies, endlessly defend them without listening, and to score points, this would be the best forum in town. Well, it still might be the best at that.

        • I agree. But I’d stress that recognizing one’s bias should also be priority… for example I’m simply playing Devil’s Advocate on the side of DU30 (I could drop him like a hat anytime), but notice how I can basically advocate for his views, batting a good number I might add (albeit you guys can hit me with principles and such, but like the man on the street said, ‘I can’t eat principles’ 😉 ).

          • ps— there’s a reason why they killed that guy 😉

          • Joe America says:

            Which fundamentally means you are an advocate who will descend to the peddling of pigs ears like any other troll would, causing friction for the obstinacy and artificiality of it all. You are not here to teach and learn, but to dominate and please yourself by provoking others.

            Yeah . . . that fits.

            • Dominate? I don’t agree. Provoking others, yes, definitely, yes, but I prefer “corrupting the youth”, … though I know you guys aren’t so ‘youthful’ 😉 .

              • Joe America says:

                This is a discussion forum, a place to teach and learn. My problem with your approach is that it has migrated the way all agenda-bound discussions migrate, to manufactured truths and innuendo. You’ve used every troll technique in the book from diversions to challenges of endless questions, making light of other people’s comments and even whipping out the emojis.

                If that is your method, this is not the forum for you, because our method is teaching and learning, not manufacturing and manipulating. For me, I can no longer trust the honesty of your commentary. Can’t take it at face value, because it may just be another manipulation.

                I suggest you withdraw from this thread and take up conversations in future threads in a straightforward manner that allows us to build trust in what you say. Stop the gameplaying and help us search for understandings.

                And kindly don’t bicker with me on this. Take, listen. Learn.

            • edgar lores says:

              I believe our assessments coincide. I link my comment from the other thread.


            • josephivo says:

              Can’t we limit the interventions per person in one thread to 3 or 4? Maybe we can think then if our intervention brings something new. I only browse comments now, so much ballast lately, so much wasting of time before their is something new or interesting,

              Leni and Rody met in the mean time, saw big smiles. Think they both realize how many leftist principles they share, both caught in a party that doesn’t fit them well.

              • Joe America says:

                No, I would have to monitor discussions and count them. I do agree that we sometimes have a case where someone arrives and wants to dominate the entire article’s discussion. Take it over, essentially. I can try to limit that. But we have what we have, like the success story of Manila, traffic jamming up the highway. The blog’s readership has grown, and with it, the participation in discussions. Yet, the discussions remain vibrant for the most part, with some traffic jams or trolling, and a lot of gems along the way (pardon the metaphoric diversion).

          • edgar lores says:

            One does not eat principles — you would starve. One lives by them.

            • I think you missed that point of that phrase. 😉 and went the literal route.

            • Bill in Oz says:

              Joe, Edgar, Karl, It is a long time since I tried to follow Lance’s comments.When he is here he completely dominates with off topics, big pictures, & distractions..So I skip, skip skip..
              In fact I have thought how patient you are responding to him..But it seems it’s now too much even for you guys…

              • Joe America says:

                That is the ultimate freedom we all can apply to the blog . . . the freedom not to read. 🙂

                Everyone brings what they bring to the blog, and we ought not expect them to be another ‘us’. Lance has contributed a lot here, articles and commentary, and is a full-fledged member of the Society. He has earned the right to consideration, plus the respect we ought to be in the habit of providing to all who honor us with a visit and a bit of their brain.

              • Joe America says:

                Plus I don’t like when commenters gang up or talk about other commenters. One should perfect the technique of speaking directly to a person about whom you may have a complaint.

              • Joe America says:

                Or you can send me a note behind the scenes. We don’t need cliques and factions here.

              • Edgar Lores says:

                I consider that sneaky. (That’s just me.)

              • Joe America says:

                Yes, I suppose. But rather than someone having a stroke, they might want to consult with me. (Singular use of the pronoun ‘they’ approved by today’s modern grammarians.)

              • I say we kick out bill, he never brings anything useful 😉 j/k j/k j/k

                Thanks, Joe.

                I’ll go on temporary self-imposed exile then, and try to look for i7sharp somewhere. 😉 LOL!

              • “One should perfect the technique of speaking directly to a person about whom you may have a complaint.”

                Joe, I was gonna say something snide in addition to that, but I’ll bite my tongue… 😉 self-imposed exhile in 3-2-1 …………………….

              • chempo says:

                Guys, Lance is OK as far as I’m concerned. He plays Devil’s advocate often. Take up the challenge and respond I’ll say. But when it’s too much dumping, feel free to pass, as Bill has done. Frankly, me too at times. Once too often, I don’t share his view although I appreciate the different way he looks at things sometimes.

                I think Lance is fair. He complements and gives credit to those when it’s due.

                On this instance of whether what was said was sensitive, I’m inclined to the majority view. Every nuance in the construct of a sentence is important in international diplomacy. They ridiculed Pnoy admin for their naivette and clumsiness in their first challenge — the bus hostage incident. Well, now in the driver’s seat, they have to appreciate there is no cheap talk anymore. There is a reason why diplomacy is often conducted in French.

              • karlgarcia says:

                merci beaucoup

              • Bert says:

                To me Lance is okay, too. You can argue with him the whole day and night and still not be pique because he’s a funny guy with lots of sense in his arguments. I sure will miss him if he goes.

  31. Now I get it that in the US the VP & President elect are in the same tandem, It will be an awkward position if the VP become an opposition, I think Leni is playing her card very well, just doing her job as she is supposed to do.
    I really think she’s better off not to be part of the Duterte circle, what makes better is in the 1st place she was not chosen to be part of the team, what ever bad happen to this administration she’s off the hook.

    • Exactly, I agree, James. If the point is to be President in 6 years, isn’t it good that she is not included in the DU30 administration—- to quote William Wallace, “FREEDOM!!!”

  32. The 2nd highest person in command is the Vice President, like in any organisation/company she is in full control when the head is not around that’s how I view it. I think that’s the reason why the VP is a successor when the 1st person in command for what ever reason disappear.
    I don’t think to handle a department in the cabinet really matters a lot but to be part of the decision making, part of the team.
    But here the big question if the VP is not from the same party as the President they don’t hold the same principle & that’s can be cause of a big friction work wise.

  33. Bill in Oz says:

    Here is the ‘core’ of Will’s post…
    “The inaugural speeches of President Rody Duterte and Vice President Leni Robredo were quite predictable. They said what we wanted to hear. But VP Leni, God bless her and her children, finally recognized the elephant in the room towards the end of the day. Something was wrong. This is not a normal thing. She said so in her speech to her supporters and admirers at the Quezon Memorial victory party at nighttime, when formalities were over and it was time to talk to family.

    “You are my family,” she said, “and I ask you not to leave me. The fight has just started.”

    Have we all really thought about what this means for the future of the Philippines ? It is really the issue here. And an important one

    • Joe America says:

      What what means for the future of the PH? The President shunning the VP? A lot of people have thought about it, but no one can make up President Duterte’s mind for him. No one really knows if he is for the PH or some secret agenda, or is just quirky. Or will change to the demands of the office.

      What do you see as the problem, and what do you propose be done by it, with the caveat that what ought to be done must be doable.

      • Marie says:

        Sir, I would go with quirky, he has warned the people based on an interview in May for us not to take everything he says seriously, perhaps he himself has no control over his thoughts. That’s why after every controversial issue he changes his stand, in other words, he corrects himself. Since my background is in psychology, I see this happening in people with his condition.

      • Bill in Oz says:

        Ummm Joe, I have made some suggestions in good faith…

        None of us here can make the new president change..And as a foreigner I am not sure any attempt by me would be welcomed or to be honest, appropriate.

        Leni as VP has options about how she responds to the position she finds herself in..Clearly she wants here friends close to her..

        One of the options she has is to be the lightning rod for the fear of all the Filipino people in this new situation with Dutters as boss…

        that amounts to be an opposition leader, loyal to the Filipino nation and state..As distinct from the current administration..

        That’s doable..

        But as with Duterte as president, what she will do is up to her as VP.

        As the Duterte fans keep reminding all of us, Change is coming.. And so there will be different responses to the ones done in the past..

        • Joe America says:

          It is very clear that she does not see herself as a lightning rod for political opposition, but for principles of fair and compassionate dealing, and fair and compassionate services to those who don’t have the ability to take care of their own needs. It is not a passive role, nor compliant. It also sees the presidency as a case where citizens have made their choice, and she does not assume any kind of moral superiority over the electorate. It is a wholly constructive and admirable stance, and I suspect she has the strength to carry it out. The point Irineo made was good. Don’t put her into the role of Cory Aquino, buffeted by forces more powerful than her, but indeed listen to her request for backing as she pursues her principles and service in a setting that may not wholly welcome her. She’s a very cool lady.

          What is interesting is that President Duterte, by shunning mainstream media, gives her prominence in those media. She is likely to shine just as brightly as the President, in that circumstance. If the President chooses not to have her as part of his functioning government, he also cannot expect her to just sit down and shut up.

          • Marie says:

            I agree, President Duterte’s loss with regard to coordinating with mainstream media will most likely be VP Leni’s gain, as she is an advocate of transparency and has vowed to fulfill her role as a public servant. From comments I have read on her account, people who support her are even willing to help monetarily if her office is limited in terms of budget. Her determination to serve the most needy Filipino matches the vision of many citizens who sincerely want to reach out to them too.

          • Bill in Oz says:

            Joe, I agree with everything you have written..And I am sure that if Duterte had not shunned her so completely Leni would have been a loyal, very competent and dedicated member of the government. But by his actions he has thrust her into a new role fo VP in this country…As for my remarks about ‘opposition leader’ and ‘lighting rod’, I am being ever so slightly ‘prophetic”.. I may be shown completely wrong. :- )

            • Joe America says:

              Or it may be a soft opposition, not confrontation, but support for principles that are humanistic. I think of the proposed death penalty. I could see her speaking, not in opposition to the proposed legislation, but for a more humane Philippines. It’s subtle, but that’s what diplomatic leaders learn to master, I think.

      • jolly cruz says:

        I propose an entirely different take on Duterte’s refusal to give Robredo a cabinet post. It may be because of pique at Ro-Ro’s supporters who cant seem to move on and keep on harping about the need for Robredo to be in the cabinet. If we go by Duterte’s psychological make up which is akin to the “kanto boy” mentality, his reason may be “si Robredo lang ba ang magaling, hindi ba ako magiging successful kung wala si Robredo?”.

        My guess is that he is trying to prove to those who undermine him that he will still be able to pursue his plans without Robredo. Methinks that he believes that with Robredo in the cabinet, whatever success he gains will be attributed by the RoRos to Robredo.

        Its not personal against Robredo but towards her supporters.

        Just a thought.

        • Joe America says:

          I don’t buy your thought, but thank you for bringing it up. Not all Ro-Ro supporters can’t move on. Indeed, I think it is only the people who poured their heart and soles (and soul) and effort and maybe money into the campaign who are still fighting the election result. And some think she is better off being separate, or untainted by the executions and other shady deeds of the Admin. It actually appears that her star is rising because of the snub, and not fading. Indeed, I read today that the matter is not finalized, that it is still up to President Duterte if she will or will not have a cabinet position. I think she is a good lady no matter what, and will find her way to do important things, no matter what, so don’t worry about it too much.

  34. chempo says:

    Has the marriage with Quiboloy been annulled?
    I though Du30 said if he wins the election,Quiboloy will be the one to swear him in.

    • madlanglupa says:

      Haven’t heard of him since, despite his prophetic claims.

    • jolly cruz says:

      Arent you glad that Duterte hasn’t brought Quiboloy to the limelight ? Maybe you are just disappointed that you cant pin this on him ?

      • Joe America says:

        Or, alternatively, perhaps it was this fine article and others like it that inspired President Duterte not to go the way of a religious puppet.

        • jolly cruz says:

          AS well, it could be. I am sure Duterte’s people are constantly monitoring the intellectual discourse of the blog.

          • Joe America says:

            That would be kind of them. I’ve already had two invites from within his circle to meet with them. I may just do that, as this new government is endlessly fascinating.

      • chempo says:

        @ Jolly
        Why do you automatically assume that I’m disappointed and that I would have loved the opportunity to pin it on him? I have a brain, by the way.

        I’m glad he did not chose Quiboloy – you must be happy with this.
        Then again, I can discern a flip-flopping mind – you must be annoyed with this.

  35. There is another big question why party principle matters when it come to the P & VP should comes from the same party. If President Duterte pass away or what ever & Leni took over what is then the guiding principle of her administration? Based on LP or she has to continue the guiding principle of her predecessor.
    I think when it comes to principle Leni & Duterte would never be a right chemistry together.

    • cwl says:

      I think that could be an issue if the scenario were in USA. ( That is for the sake of argument as in US of A, P and VP always belong to the same party.)
      Party principles is a strange language in the Philippines. Just see the spectacle of LP members riding on board Duterte’s ship even before he was declared winner by Congress. So, an LP vice president could always take the place of a PDP-Laban president without rocking the political equation. Politicians will just change party colors. Regarding the so-called guiding principle, there is no distinct difference among political parties in the country, save of course with Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) which has a totally different guiding principle.

      • Based on your explanation I could see parliamentary system has a bit of edge over the presidential system. The party principle is the guiding principle of the administration & it’s easy to execute it because the majority party basically run the government from PM, deputy PM & the ministers of every department belong to one party which is the majority.
        They are full accountable in running the government & be easily remove by a no confident vote.

        • Francis says:

          Indeed. Can’t help but dream of Filipino Shadow Cabinets. Would go a long way in uplifting government criticism from “let’s point at a random scandal and see what happens”

          You’d also know which vested interest is getting which portfolio from the start, instead of having to wait on the calculations of a preisdent just after elections. And you’d be able to also see how they fare under the scrutiny of a congress. That’d be nice.

  36. J. Bondurant says:

    “I have no friends to serve…” sounds a lot like “Walang kaibi-kaibigan at walang kamag-anak-anak…” to me.

    • Juana Pilipinas says:

      Then explain to me why he will not give Leni a cabinet position because of his friendship with BBM; why the his cabinet compose of old friends and those he owes a favor; why his appointments revolve around people from his old haunts… Sounds like the much maligned KKK to me.

      • jolly cruz says:

        If you are in a position of great responsibility and expectations are high, you will not bring in people who don’t have the same ideals as yours into your camp. Its obvious why he brings in people who are familiar to him.

        However, there are others in sensitive positions who were never in his camp. Gina Lopez of DENR, Ramon Lopez of DTI, JUdy Taguiwalo of DSWD, Rafael Mariano of DAR. These are people of proven integrity and have advocacies that are perfectly suited to their agencies.

        I hope you give credit where credit is due and not just contradict because you hate the guy.

        • Waray-waray says:

          VP Leni is pro-poor as what Pres. Duterte is also claiming so one could say that they have the same ideals. They just belong to different parties.

          Gina Lopez was a Duterte supporter in his presidential campaign.

        • Juana Pilipinas says:

          @Jolly. Hate is such a complex and heavy word. I cannot even entertain “hating” anyone or anything. I DISLIKE Duterte’s speech pattern and behavior will be more accurate. Both can be changed through civility and discernment. Time will tell if he used discernment in the appointments you mentioned. No judgement was passed, I am deferring it 3-6 months from now.

      • J. Bondurant says:

        What I meant, mam’selle, is that President Duterte’s statement echoed that of Mayor Estrada during the latter’s inauguration. And that made me think about what other similarities they might share.

  37. andrewlim8 says:

    Can anybody here verify if this is accurate:

    “The name of our incoming Foreign Affairs Secretary means “perfect vegetable” in Japanese.”

    – twitter post from Atom Araullo, ABS CBN journalist

    • Waray-waray says:

      @Sup we can only hope but I am not hopeful. Mr. Yasay has nil experience in foreign diplomacy and his position is one of the most sensitive positions right now given the situation in the West Philippine Sea.

      He was a big disappointment at the first cabinet meeting as he indicated that he would repudiate any UNCLOS decision on the West Philippine Sea dispute that would put China at a disadvantage. His record as SEC chair was controversial aside his questionable work ethics and integrity.

      On the other hand his predecessor Sec. Albert Del Rosario did a splendid job at the DFA. He was a career diplomat having served as ambassador to the United States before his cabinet appointment. He professionalized the department and with former Pres. Aquino’s support most chief diplomatic- ambassadorial positions were appointed to career diplomats. This has boosted the morale in the diplomatic corps. In 2014 there was a review of the department’s career employees and as a result the department was “purged” (read voluntary resignation) of employees with questionable credentials (read fake credentials e.g diploma and civil service eligibility manufactured from Recto).

      Mr. Yasay has big shoes to fill. What kind of credentials is he going to present in his first international assignment? He maybe just warming the seat for Sen Cayetano but imo it has been proven with how former Sec. Del Rosario did his job that it is to our country’s best interest to appoint a career diplomat for the job.

      Diplomacy is both an art and a skill.

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